Mukesh Singh

In the past 8 years since the conception of the Helpdesk, our Helpdesk counsellors have always struggled to provide useful information to Helpdesk callers who lose their sight in later years, especially those who are 40 years or over. Our interaction with several callers as well our own information gathering processes point out,that there is a pandemic lack of rehabilitation services for this group of people in India from either NGOs or government organizations.

Mukesh singh (name changed), 48, is a client who has lost complete sight due to retinal damage. Currently living in Patna with his wife and three children, he has been a contractor in the past. Apart from taking construction contracts, he was also engaged in agricultural activities before he became blind.

After watching Nazar ya Nazariya, he saw light at the end of an otherwise long dark tunnel. He was motivated to endeavour to resume independent mobility and once again resume his financial responsibilities. Our helpdesk counseled him to boost his self worth and help him see possibilities of leading an independent life.

After consulting many people, we came across two organizations, Composite Rehabilitation Centre and Bihar Blind Sports Association that provide training to children. Upon request they finally agreed to provide him training as well. However, Mukesh remains dissatisfied with the services rendered. This is due to the fact that these services are not designed to meet the needs of middle aged people, and most of them are designed to meet the needs of younger beneficiaries only.

Therefore, we have suggested him to start his own small business with the help of other family members. We have informed him about loan scheme offered by Bihar as well as central government in relation to self employment. We also referred him to a role model who could better guide him about the nitty gritties of owning and managing a business.

All this however, does not change the fact that rehabilitation services available for people who lose their vision later in life are at best rudimentary. Through our learnings, gathered over a decade, we recognize the need for robust rehabilitation services for such people.